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City Guide to follow: The Best Sights and Activities for your Amsterdam Holiday in 3 to 5 Days
What is Amsterdam famous for? What not to miss in Amsterdam? How many days is enough to visit Amsterdam?
We take you on our 5-day city trip to Amsterdam and show you the best sights and activities for your Amsterdam Holiday.
If you want to explore the most beautiful Amsterdam sights without stress, we recommend you to plan at least 3 days. You will need 4 to 5 days to explore the surrounding area like Zaanse Schans.
The city of Amsterdam is world famous for its branching canal system with picturesque gabled houses, the numerous museums in the museum district, its excellent restaurants, the colorful nightlife and the countless bicycles.
Our city guide will help you to plan your Amsterdam Holiday optimally. This way, you will avoid unnecessary stress and you are guaranteed not to miss any of the top sights – promised! In addition, you will receive valuable tips and a list of all the highlights that you can visit in 3 to 5 days.
The guide should increase your anticipation and can hopefully inspire you to pack your bags as soon as possible and travel to the Dutch metropolis. If you don’t like one of the items on the list, you can of course easily disregard it and adjust the program. After all, tastes are different.
Tip: Save stress and money with the I Amsterdam City Card
Click here to get the I Amsterdam City Card – for 1 to 5 days
Amsterdam attractions that are very time consuming to visit or harder to reach by location, you may be able to visit next time. Amsterdam is well located in terms of transportation, so it is not a problem to come back again.
It’s better to enjoy the time than to obsessively check out all the points. That’s why our suggestion is: If you like it somewhere particularly well, enjoy the moment and let yourself drift. If necessary, you can simply leave aside a program item that is less appealing to you anyway.
During the Amsterdam Holiday season and on weekends it can get crowded at the main attractions. So you should plan for waiting times. Still, you’ll be more than thrilled with the visit. The cosmopolitan city engages all your senses.
We wish you a lot of fun with these unforgettable experiences!
Is the I Amsterdam City Card a good value?
We bought the I Amsterdam City Card for 120 hours in advance online and exchanged the email voucher for the card on site at Amsterdam Centraal station in the I Amsterdam store – pretty easy.
The card was definitely worth it. Because you get free admission almost everywhere, many discounts (e.g. Straat or Nxt Museum) and you can travel for free on public transport – even with the ferry to Zaanse Schans!
The big plus: many museums and attractions are free with the card. With the I Amsterdam City Card you don’t have to stand at any ticket booths or machines to buy a ticket. The admission at the entrances is much faster, because you only have to show your card. It will safe you time and money on your Amsterdam Holiday.
The I Amsterdam City Card is valid from the moment you use it for the first time. You can pick it up on the day you arrive in the city and use it for the first time the next day. Pretty handy. From activation, it’s valid for either 24, 48, 72, 96 or 120 hours.
Another plus: you get a canal tour for free and you can rent a bike for free for 24 hours. For example, we rented a bike from MacBike for our explorations on Day 2 (Noord). It was well worth it!
The only thing that was a bit of a pain – regardless of the City Card: you have to reserve a time slot for your visit online early at the most popular Amsterdam attractions, like the Rijksmuseum or the Heineken Experience!
Just so you have it on tap: The Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum are unfortunately not included in the City Card. And you may have to book a time slot weeks in advance! We couldn’t visit the Anne Frank House because it was no time slot available.
Here you can see the availability for a ticket of the Van Gogh Museum:
Save money and buy the I Amsterdam City Card online in advance:
Amsterdam Holiday Day 1 – Explore the most beautiful Amsterdam sights in the city center
You can explore the most beautiful Amsterdam sights wonderfully on foot, by bike, metro or streetcar. No problem if you have a ticket for the GVB public transport. If you have the I Amsterdam City Card, local transport is included and you don’t have to buy an extra ticket.
The streetcar and metro network lets you get from A to B quickly. You can also get around quickly by bike or Uber.
You can also explore the city very well with the Hop-On/Hop-Off bus. There is actually always a stop at the most beautiful sights.
The day starts with a Amsterdam Highlight: Lunch at the Restaurant De Kas
We went to Amsterdam by car in the morning and stopped at the restaurant De Kas for lunch. And we definitely recommend a visit to the restaurant. However, nothing works here without a reservation. The restaurant serves almost all products from their own cultivation. Vegetables are harvested from the fields early in the morning and prepared for you in the restaurant. It doesn’t get any fresher or more regional than this!
So just like most Amsterdam attractions, you need to reserve a time slot online in advance. The ambiance and food reminded us of Babylonstoren in South Africa.
As described above, we had purchased the I Amsterdam City Card online in advance and exchanged the email voucher for the actual City Card on site at Amsterdam Centraal station in the I Amsterdam Store. We left our luggage at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam beforehand. Check-in is there only from 3 pm. For us, however, no problem, we just started directly with the Amsterdam Sightseeing Tour!
1. Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder – Amsterdam Attractions
The first destination on our list is the Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (English: Our Dear Lord in the Attic). The museum is located near the train station, but is somewhat hidden.
From the outside alone, the museum is a real eye-catcher, having been built in a beautiful 17th century canal house. Inside, there are several exhibits to admire. You come through narrow corridors and up narrow staircases to the historic living rooms.
The bedrooms and the old kitchen are also original. The highlight is the church in the attic. It is still there in every detail. The entrepreneur Jan Hartmann had this attic church built in 1663.
Once the wealthy Hartmann family inhabited this beautiful house on the canal. Behind the attic church hides a secret. At that time, the city administration was under the direction of a Protestant magistrate.
Therefore, it was forbidden to practice the Catholic faith in public. For this reason, many merchants built their own churches in private houses. In the Netherlands, the principle of freedom of conscience applies: In their own premises, every Dutchman can think and believe what he likes. That is why the Dutch are known for their tolerance and openness all over the world.
Duration: about 1 hour, informative and entertaining audio guide, no reservation necessary.
Amsterdam is a city of contrasts. You can feel this especially in the red light district. It is located between the train station and the Nieuwmarkt. On the Achterburgwal is the center with many erotic stores.
In the narrow streets numerous ladies offer their services. During the day, visiting this neighborhood is quite harmless. Many curious tourists stroll through the streets just to experience the atmosphere and admire the shop windows.
We strolled from the Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder through the red light district towards the Oude Kerk. The live shows in the bars don’t start until late in the evening.
Book a guided tour of the Red Light District online in advance: ➜ Guided Tour: Amsterdam Red Light District: Walking Tour
3. Oude Kerk – Amsterdam attractions
The Oude Kerk (Old Church) deserves its name. In fact, it is considered the oldest building in Amsterdam. The church was built as early as 1306.
Even today, church services are held regularly in the Oude Kerk. Sometimes church or classical concerts are also held. Before the church was built, a wooden chapel already stood on this spot.
However, in the 13th century the population grew by leaps and bounds and the construction of a larger church became necessary. In 1334 the church became an independent parish church. Architecturally, it was the first hall church in the whole of Holland.
In the course of time it was rebuilt and extended again and again. The side aisles were added and the building was enlarged to the east with a choir ambulatory. The chapel of St. George dates back to 1412.
We especially liked the great wooden roofs, the stained glass windows that were added in the Middle Ages and the massive organ. The great organ was built in 1726 by the famous organ builder Christian Vater. It has 45 stops. After a tour of the church, head to the Grootste Amsterdamse Mozaïek ‘Oersoep’ mosaic artwork.
Duration: approx. 30-40 minutes, no reservation necessary
Insider tip: Save yourself the expensive tower climb of 9 euros and rather visit the free observation deck of the Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam. From here you have a great view of the city!
4. Grootste Amsterdamse Mozaïek ‘Oersoep’ – Amsterdam attractions
The artwork Grootste Amsterdamse Mozaïek ‘Oersoep’ is located in the covered Beurspassage between Damrak and Nieuwendijk (see map below) and is the largest mosaic artwork of Amsterdam.
The impressive overall work of art consists of a beautiful semi-circular ceiling, very beautifully executed tile paintings with incorporated gold leaf on the walls, which are also very stylishly decorated with stained glass objects.
From the ceiling hang golden chandeliers assembled from bicycle parts. The artwork suggests that you are walking through an underwater tunnel at the bottom of the canal. You see fish, bubbles, reflections and all sorts of objects that have accumulated in the canals. The artwork has an area of 450 m².
The mosaic on the vaulted ceiling of the Beurspassage is made of glass stones in emerald green tones. It was completed in late 2016 and created by artists Arno Coenen and Iris Roskam, and the chandeliers were designed by Hans van Bentem, who worked closely with the aforementioned artist duo.
It is worth taking a look at the passage. By the way, the entrance is free and at the fish you can fill up your drinking water.
5. Nieuwe Kerk – Amsterdam Holiday
Our next destination is the late Gothic basilica Nieuwe Kerk – or see point 6 Paleis op de Dam (there is not enough time for both). The name Nieuwe is somewhat deceptive, this church is the second oldest church in the city and thus by no means new. Many monarchs have been crowned in this church over the years.
Therefore, it is the official coronation church of Dutch nobles. In 1408 the construction of the church began, financed by the wealthy knight Willem Eggert. After its completion, it was dedicated to St. Mary. Inside, the gilded organ, which reaches to the ceiling, attracts attention.
Every now and then there are worthwhile exhibitions. On our visit there was the World Press exhibition with impressive photographs and the corresponding background information.
Duration: approx. 30-60 minutes, no reservation necessary
Since the day has only 24 hours, you can not look at everything. Even not in 5 days. The Royal Palace is located opposite the Nieuwe Kerk. We recommend you to visit either the Nieuwe Kerk or the Paleis op de Dam. We decided to go to the Nieuwe Kerk and see the palace next time.
One of the sights you could push to another day. Or you could even put both in the back and have more time for point 7.
If you don’t have the time to see the palace from the inside, then a look from the outside at Dam Square is enough. Here there is a lot of hustle and bustle.
The royal palace was built from 1648 to 1665 in Dutch classicist style as a city hall. Since 1939, it has been used by the royal family of the House of Orange-Nassau for representational purposes and as a guest house for state guests.
Duration: approx. 1-2 hours. Not included in I Amsterdam card.
Book admission to Paleis op de Dam online in advance: ➜ Paleis op de Dam: ticket and audio guide for the Royal Palace
7. Anne Frank Haus – Amsterdam attractions
After visiting the Nieuwe Kerk, you can plan a visit to the Anne Frank House at Prinsengracht 263-267. The museum is often booked up weeks in advance – as was the case with us. That’s why we couldn’t visit it, unfortunately. Maybe you’ll have better luck.
It is dedicated to Jewish Holocaust victim Anne Frank and is one of Amsterdam’s most famous attractions.
The exhibition is said to be very thoughtful, impressive and oppressive.
Note: Prior reservations are required. Be sure to plan well in advance. Not included in I Amsterdam Card.
8. Nine Streets (De 9 Straatjes) and Jordaan – Amsterdam Highlights
You can spend the evening in the picturesque canal district Nine Streets (De 9 Straatjes) and Jordaan.
These districts are among the hippest in the city. Here you will find numerous trendy stores, bars and restaurants. The Nine Streets are located in the outer center and branch off from Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht. Thanks to their uniqueness, the Nine Streets are also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Let the evening end
For dinner we went to the restaurant Nooch. Here you can find delicious Asian dishes. Otherwise, we can recommend LE COEUR or La Perla Pizzeria.
There are so many options for going out in the two neighborhoods, you will surely find the right one for you. You can find some tips in the map below.
And if you’re in the mood for comedy: Boom Chicago is located nearby. It’s a great place for improv comedy events!
Book admission to Boom Chicago online in advance: ➜ Amsterdam: ‘Boom Chicago’ Comedy Theater ticket
Day 2 – Discover the creative part of Amsterdam: Amsterdam Noord
We rented a bike directly at the station Amsterdam Centraal at MacBike and crossed with the ferry F3 to Noord. The ferry is free, runs every 6 minutes and you can take your bike with you. The ride takes only 5 minutes. On the other shore the A’DAM Lookout and This is Holland are waiting for you.
The second option is to take the ferry F4 (also free) directly to the NDSM shipyard. The trip takes 20 minutes. Then you start the day at the Straat Museum and Pllek.
Note: Return of bikes is at MacBike until 6pm. Key insertion after opening hours is unfortunately not possible here at the station for reasons of space.
Start the morning with a good breakfast
We did not have breakfast at the hotel and always prefer to test out some cafes locally. Near the bike rental at the central station are two good options. The Pancakes Amsterdam is, as the name suggests, known for its pancakes and the Omelegg for delicious omelettes. We can recommend both before you head to Noord.
The first destination today is A’DAM Lookout. A great Amsterdam highlight to look forward to! The great observation deck opens at 10am and offers a spectacular view over the whole of Amsterdam. You can even see the harbor and the polders in the hinterland in the distance.
“Over The Edge”, as the swing is called, hangs 100 meters above the ground. It is the highest swing in all of Europe. Swinging at such a height definitely provides a little adrenaline rush. But be aware: the swing is not for people who are afraid of heights! To be honest, I felt quite queasy while swinging. I must be getting old.
The elevator with glass ceiling and light show that takes you to the observation deck would have been enough of a thrill for me.
In the beautiful Sky Bar you can still drink something and enjoy the view. Another attraction in the building is the virtual roller coaster Amsterdam VR Ride.
Duration: approx. 30-45 minutes, no reservation necessary
Our next destination was the Nxt Museum. But we have to say in advance: this museum is not for everyone. You are led through a massive installation with light and sound effects and have to be able and, above all, willing to engage with something completely new.
The artworks are both fascinating and repulsive at the same time. All your senses are engaged. There was something psychedelic about it in parts. The installations were created by artificial intelligence and take you into abstract worlds.
It’s a different kind of museum, and in retrospect we still don’t know if we thought it was good or bad. But maybe that was the point of this exhibition. It’s best to experience for yourself.
Duration: approx. 35-60 minutes, no reservation needed
12. Geheimtipp: Design- und Trödelmarkt bei Van Dijk and Ko
If you’re looking for antiques, beautiful designer lamps, great cabinets, vases and refurbished junk, stop by Van Dijk and Ko, Neef Louis Design and Sisters Stoop.
Here you can find everything that makes the junkers heart beat faster. In the huge halls you will find everything to redesign your home and garden.
13. NDSM Wharf – Amsterdam attractions
Live music and cultural events are regularly held on the huge industrial site NDSM Werft. Therefore, the NDSM shipyard is considered a hip scene district.
The beginnings of the shipyard are in the 1950s, when the tributary of the IJ was developed. It was then that this huge shipyard came into being. Today, the area is home to many alternative and artistic stores.
Just stroll through the halls and check out the artists’ studios. There are always exhibitions worth visiting.
Duration: approx. 30-60 Minutes, free admission
Time for lunch
In the neighborhood NDSM Shipyard there are a few nice restaurants like IJver Amsterdam. However, the most popular is Pllek. It is located directly on the water and offers a beach with sun chairs. From here you have a fantastic view of the other shore. The food is very tasty. You can spend some time here.
14. Straat Museum – Amsterdam Attractions
The Straat Museum displays some of the most impressive street art in the world. The colorful facade of the museum alone consists of many graffiti artworks worth seeing. We found the murals and sculptures of the street artists in the interior very exciting and can only recommend a visit!
In Amsterdam, a canal tour is of course not to be missed. The tour is free with the I Amsterdam City Card.
We first took the ferry (you have the option between F4 or F3) back to the station and returned the rented bikes.
Many canal tours start right at the station. The tour through the waterways is one of the highlights in Amsterdam. We chose to take Stromma from the main station, right at the Damrak Waterfront.
We were able to admire many Amsterdam sights from the water, which we still have written on our bucket list for the next Amsterdam visit. For example, the Maritime Museum with the VOC ship “Amsterdam” or the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam, the botanical garden.
By the way, the cover picture of this blog article was taken during the canal tour and shows the “Dancing Canal Houses” (leaning canal houses from the 17th century).
A canal tour is one of the most relaxing ways to see the city. Depending on the provider, the tours last 1 to 2 hours. The tour was very informative – don’t forget to bring something to drink. We took some wine with us. It makes the tour more social.
After the tour we ended the evening at Café van Zuylen. Outside on the bridge you can sit well with an Aperol or beer and watch the people.
Dauer: ca. 1 Stunde, keine Reservierung nötig
Grachtentour with I Amsterdam City Card free of charge:
Day 3 – Discover Amsterdam’s south: Museums, specialties and lots of flowers
Breakfasts near the Van Gogh Museum
For breakfast we recommend Bakers & Roasters in De Pijp. Cool café with excellent food and good coffee. The café also opens at 8:30am so you can get to the Van Gogh Museum early. Because the earlier the better. It gets pretty crowded there.
The Van Gogh Museum is located in the middle of the museum district, more precisely in Museumplein 6 in the south of Amsterdam. Since 1973, the exhibition can be admired. The museum displays the world’s largest collection of paintings and drawings by the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. Almost everyone knows the sunflowers of the painter or his self-portraits.
Be sure to book the worthwhile audio guide to go with it. The guide offers different programs that lead you through the museum. There are detailed explanations or only the highlights are illustrated.
We chose the tour with the highlights and that was just right for us. You get short and crisp the most important works about the different floors explained and can ask for additional background knowledge as desired.
We were already at the museum shortly after 9 o’clock and were glad to have been there so early. Because even if you have to book a time slot, the museum fills up very quickly.
Duration: approx. 1 hour, prior reservation required. Must be planned in advance. Not included in I Amsterdam Card.
Book ticket for Van Gogh Museum online in advance:
Save money and buy I Amsterdam City Card online in advance:
17. Moco Museum – Amsterdam Vacation
Directly afterwards you can visit the Moco Museum. It is located right next to the Van Gogh Museum and we liked it very much.
The exhibition of modern and contemporary art is intended especially for a younger audience. The museum is best known for its unofficial Banksy exhibition.
In the museum we got to know digital art and NFTs and we have to say that we found the concept very exciting. So if you’re open to very modern art, definitely check out the Moco Museum.
The museum is not very big and the exhibits are located in a half-timbered house on several floors.
If you have time before the DIY food tour (item 18) check out Oud-West. The neighborhood is another hip one in Amsterdam with its many designer stores and coffee houses.
You could have lunch at one of the food stalls in the cultural center De Hallen, also called Foodhallen Amsterdam. Save that for another time, though. There must be room in your stomach for the DIY food tour.
Afterwards you can stroll through the green Vondelpark. In the park there is a rose garden, several nice cafes and an open-air theater. The green spaces are very good for relaxing.
We only strolled through Vondelpark briefly that day and focused on the really great DIY food tour in De Pijp. We explored the Vondelpark extensively by bike the following day.
Duration: approx. 30-46 Minutes, no reservation needed
18. Top recommendation: DIY Food Tour & Albert Cuyp Market in De Pijp
How do you really immerse yourself in a city and a country? Exactly! By tasting the local specialties. That’s why we tested Who is Amsterdam’s do-it-yourself foodie tour.
This tour was put together for visitors by passionate local food guides. It takes you to six stops in the lively De Pijp neighborhood. Along the way, you’ll stroll through Europe’s largest street market, Albert Cuyp Market.
You set the pace yourself. At all further stops you say that you are taking the tour. You will be given small snacks to try everywhere – just for the tour. You pay for the food yourself, but it only costs a few euros everywhere.
The tour is really cool and we honestly had to stop before the sixth stop. There was nothing left in our stomachs. We are curious how you like the tour!
Duration: appprox. 1-2 Hours, Time: between 11 am and 3 pm
With the food tour, you now have the right foundation to do a beer tasting. The Dutch brewery Heineken has its own museum with an interactive tour through the history of the brewery. After the tour, you can of course taste the beer. And that’s the only thing it’s all about.
Wir haben durch unsere Reisen nun schon ein paar Bier- und Whisky-Tastings und Touren durch Brauereien gemacht und müssen sagen, wir waren hier sehr enttäuscht.
The history of the brewery and the brewing process are completely in the background here. We had the feeling of being caught in the middle of a Heineken commercial with glorifying videos and light shows. We were glad to finally be outside again.
If you’ve never done a similar tour before, then a visit might be interesting for you. Otherwise, we recommend, for example, a tour at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, a tour at the De Koninck Experience Center in Antwerp, the Smithwick’s Experience in Kilkenny, or a tour at the Bourgogne des Flandres brewery in Bruges. They were all very informative and beautifully done.
At the end of the day it is worth visiting the most famous market in the city center: the Bloemenmarkt. The perfect place for flower lovers.
The market offers numerous plants and flowers at reasonable prices. Many of the stalls even float on the water. They are attached to pontoons.
The tulip bulbs are already perfectly packaged to take home. We could not resist and bought almost 200 pieces. So not only for us, but also for friends and family. That’s the practical thing when you travel by car.
Until when? Closes at 6:30 pm
End the evening
Around the flower market are many restaurants in Reguliersdwarsstraat. We recommend (as we were recommended by our follower) a dinner at Sampurna. Here you get Indonesian specialties served. The food is incredibly delicious and we have taken the operators directly into the heart. We recommend the dishes that are served in tapas form. Then you can try as many dishes as possible.
Why Indonesian? As we have already learned in “This is Holland”, over 170 nations come together in Amsterdam. This diversity is also reflected in the cuisine. Certainly, Dutch colonialism also plays a role.
After dinner we walked to the bridge called Blauwbrug. Here you can take a picture of the Dancing Canal Houses (leaning canal houses from the 17th century, see cover picture) – if you haven’t already done it on the canal tour. And you can watch the colorful hustle and bustle on the water. There are so many ships cruising here, it’s just exciting to watch.
At the bridge is also the XtraCold Icebar Amsterdam and the Café ‘t Hooischip. In the café we drank a nightcap outside. Very recommendable.
First stop today is the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam’s Oud-Zuid district. The museum is located in the museum district, not far from the van Gogh Museum. But doing all the museums in one day is no fun. On the one hand, the many walking through the whole premises and then the many impressions are overwhelming.
The National Museum holds a varied collection of art, craft and history. Plan plenty of time, because the museum is huge and there is a lot to see. As many as 8000 exhibits to be exact. It reminded us a bit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Particularly impressive – also in terms of dimensions – are the works by Rembrandt on display, first and foremost the painting “The Night Watch”, which measures 3.63 m x 4.37 m. This is also where most of the visitors hang out. After an acid attack in 1990 on the painting, it can now be observed behind a large glass case. In the same room is a painting that alone measures 9 meters in width, really imposing.
Other exhibited works are for example by famous Dutch artists such as Steen, Vermeer (Maid with Milk Jug) or Hals.
You should not miss the beautiful library and the many impressive ceramics.
DauDuration: approx. 2-3 hours, Booking of timeslot necessary
After more than two hours, we couldn’t take in anything at the Rijksmuseum and moved on towards Vondelpark to relax.
The park somehow reminded us of Central Park in New York. It’s not as big, but here you can also cycle around the park, there are several nice cafes as well as an open-air stage and a wonderfully fragrant rose garden.
The park stretches from the Stadhouderskade to the Amstelveenseweg and is very lovingly landscaped. Every year, over 10 million visitors admire the well-kept flower beds.
We rented a bike for 3 hours at MacBike. There are several bike rentals to choose from around the park. The first store we went to was out of bikes for the day, so we quickly went to the next one and still got lucky.
You can bike around the park two or three times, just lay in the meadows, settle down by the Rosarium, or go to a concert or performance at the outdoor stage. There was a nice free live concert the day we were there.
Duration: approx. 2-3 hours
Time for Lunch
In the park there are a few good options like Groot Melkhuis or De Vondeltuin. But we were in the mood for some really good pizza and biked to Pizza Project – Neapolitan Pizza Bar. The pizza is one of the best we have ever eaten. We can only recommend.
23. Begijnhof – Beguine Court
If you still want to visit a place of peace, then the Beguinage is the right place for you. A beguinage is a residential complex of the beguines, a religious community. This complex consists of several convents, a chapel and a courtyard.
The houses are separated by ditches and walls, and the idyllic garden offers a relaxing retreat. Images of saints can be seen on the gables of the houses.
The Begijnhof is open daily from 9 am to 5 pm.
24. Westerpark – Fabrique des Lumières, Ton Ton Club – Amsterdam sights
You can actually spend a whole day in Westerpark. The park houses a massive gasometer with a cinema, a theater and restaurants. In addition, various events are held here.
There is also an interactive exhibition Fabrique des Lumières (open until the end of 2022) with light projections. The works of world-famous artists such as Klimt or Hundertwasser are projected in digital exhibitions on the floor as well as walls of the hall of the studio.
Nice places to stay are the Troost Westergas brewery with changing beers on tap or the TonTon Club Westergas. It’s a unique place where you can not only have a drink and a bite to eat, but also enjoy the slot machines and pinball machines.
Not included in I Amsterdam Card.
Book entrance to Fabrique des Lumières online in advance:
An alternative to the Fabrique des Lumières exhibition is the audiovisual playground Amaze with its colorful installations. Here you’ll be immersed in lasers, lights, smoke, new media art and visuals. Each of the seven interactive rooms offers a different experience.
Duration: approx. 60 minutes. Not included in I Amsterdam ticket.
For dinner we were in Westerpark at Mossel & Gin. As the name suggests, there are deliciously prepared mussels and fantastic gin drinks. Really good. The order works preferably via an app with prepayment.
Day 5 – Explore the Amsterdam countryside: Zaanse Schans, Haarlem, Zandvoort
Due to time constraints, we recommend that you have breakfast in the immediate vicinity of the Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam. For example, at tHUIS aan de AMSTEL. Or you can have breakfast at the hotel today.
26. Zaanse Schans – Amsterdam Highlights
Zaandam is located only 18.7 km from Amsterdam and can be reached in twenty minutes via the A10.
If you are not traveling by car: you can take the ferry to Zaanse Schans for free with the I Amsterdam Card.
The authentic wooden houses and the old mills in Zaandam are not to be missed. The huge open-air museum sends you on a journey into the past. You can visit the historic windmills and watch workers such as clog makers and pewterers at work. By the way, the windmills are still in operation today and produce peanut oil, paper or saw wood.
In our opinion, you can skip the Zaans Museum right at the main entrance. Even if you have free entrance with the I Amsterdam card. Rather look at the windmills, climb the stairs and overlook the beautiful landscape. We found the oil mill De Zoeker particularly interesting. The whole process of how peanut oil was and is made here is very interesting.
We found the windmill museum (Molenmuseum) still quite interesting, because here an exhibition was made about the current operators of the windmills. Perhaps these trades will soon die out completely.
It’s best to be here as early as possible. Because otherwise it gets pretty crowded and you can hardly get into any of the workshops.
Visits to the Windmill World Museum, the Wevershuis, the cooperage, the Zaanse Tijd Museum, the De Kat paint mill, the Het Jonge windmill and the De Kraai restaurant are included in the entrance fee.
For lunch we can recommend the Jopen Brewery or The Louisiana in Haarlem. One is hearty, the other has great fish dishes. Or you can wait until you arrive in Zandvoort and eat in a beach house directly overlooking the sea.
We really wanted to go to the sea. Maybe you can still make it.
Zandvoort is best known for its beautiful beaches and car racing circuit. It’s a great feeling after all the sightseeing to bury your feet in the fine white sand and enjoy the sea and the fresh sea air.
Zandvoort is another 20 minutes away by car. By train you are there in 15-20 minutes.
Enjoy the rest of the day at one of the beach restaurants.
The exploration of Amsterdam couldn’t have ended any better, could it? We wish you a great time and look forward to your feedback.
Duration: Open End
Features & Travel Tips
Similar to New York, you’ll be doing a lot of walking. We averaged 15,000 steps per day during our visit. So don’t forget to pack good sneakers.
Of course, you can also explore a lot by bike. But there are about 880,000 bikes in the city with 810,000 people. That’s quite a lot. You have to get used to the bicycle traffic. For us, it’s comparable to Hanoi with all the scooters. You just have to go with the flow.
Amsterdam is close to the sea. The weather can change here all the time. It’s best to pack a small umbrella and dress on the multi-layer principle.
You can easily pay by card everywhere. You will hardly see any cash. Even at the Albert Cuyp market you can pay with card at every small market stall.
Which hotel to take in Amsterdam?
We stayed at the Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam without breakfast and can easily recommend the hotel. We had breakfast at various places in the city.
The hotel is located south of the city center and the metro is right outside the door. And from the hotel it is only 10 minutes by metro. Also connections were always completely problem-free for us to get.
The rooms are comfortable and modern. We had nothing to complain about here.
In addition, the hotel has an underground garage where we could park our car for the time. The parking garage cost 23 euros per day.
Click here to go to the hotel: ➜ Leonardo Royal Hotel Amsterdam (only 10 minutes by metro to the center). ➜ Similar hotel: Postillion Hotel Amsterdam (also only 10 minutes by metro to the center).
More hotels in Amsterdam:
➜ Directly in the center: Hotel Estheréa ➜ Directly in the center: Radisson Blu Hotel, Amsterdam City Center ➜ On the edge of the center: Motel One Amsterdam-Waterlooplein
By car to Amsterdam
Actually, we wanted to go to Amsterdam by train, but the tickets for our period were just way too expensive. So we drove just under 3 to 4 hours by car and parked the car in the parking garage of the hotel. That cost 23,- Euro per day. In the city center, you come to 54, – euros per day in some cases.
Good restaurants in Amsterdam
After all the beautiful sights you are tired and hungry and thirsty. That always begs the question, where is the best place for you to eat? Amsterdam has an overwhelming number of good restaurants and excellent international cuisine to offer. Here’s our selection of restaurants you should try – see the map (below) for more:
Pancakes Amsterdam – delicious pancakes. Omelegg – super tasty omelettes Bakers & Roasters – good breakfast and good coffee De Kas – extraordinary place with extraordinary food Sampurna – great Indonesian restaurant – definitely try it for tapas! Pllek – cool location with beach and nice view Tjin’s Toko – fantastic Surinamese food! Pizza Project – Neapolitan pizza bar – one of the best pizzas we have ever had NOOCH asian kitchen – if you are in the mood for Vietnamese cuisine
Best time to visit Amsterdam
You can visit Amsterdam all year round. The best time to travel are the months from May to August. Then the city has very pleasant temperatures and the sun shines frequently. This means that you can enjoy many outdoor activities.
However, the illuminated Christmas markets in December are also very beautiful. In spring, the blooming tulip fields in the surrounding countryside attract visitors. Each season has its own charm. So you are spoiled for choice.
Public transport in Amsterdam
In Amsterdam you have many options to explore the city by public transport. The best and cheapest options are the metro, streetcar and bus. GVB day passes and multi-day passes are valid on streetcars, buses and metros operated by the GVB.
A sightseeing bus passes almost all important sights. For longer distances, it is recommended to take the train. Of course, you can also rent a bike or scooter in Amsterdam, but the traffic is not to be underestimated. Traffic jams and crowded streets are not uncommon.
Buy ticket for the sightseeing bus online in advance:
King’s Day on April 27 (formerly Queen’s Day) is celebrated with great enthusiasm in Amsterdam. Then the streets turn the color orange. There are also numerous open-air markets and parades. Other special events include the Amsterdam Gay Pride at the end of July, the Amsterdam Dance Event on October 19 and the Amsterdam Light Festival on December 1.
Karte: Amsterdam Sehenswürdigkeiten, Restaurants und Hotels: